Skip to main content

View Diary: A Big Tent? (289 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  No, you're missing the point (none)
    We don't call all killing murder.  People who call soldiers murderers generally do think they have committed a crime, and people who don't think they have committed a crime don't call them murderers.  Murder is not the only kind of killing, we have homocide, self-defense, and all kinds of shades that describe different situations and balances of the rights of different people, and abortion is one of these terms.

    If you call it murder rather than any other term, you're saying the person who does it is a murderer.  If you're saying it's murder and should be against the law because it's murder, then you're either saying a person who does it should be prosecuted as a murderer, or you're just twisting the language.  You might have a leg to stand on if you called it homocide, but that doesn't have the same emotional impact, does it?

    •  Murder is killing (none)
      when it should not have had to happen.  Most soldiers I've met who have killed do believe they murdered, but not that they were wrong, personally, for doing so, given the situation.  By recognizing that war results in murder, even when legal, we can all try to work towards ending war and making it less destructive (not that we have a good record of doing that, mind you).  

      The same goes for abortion as an institution.  Most pro-lifers would not want to criminalize people who participate in it if, as a society, there was a general agreement that abortion is wrong and we could focus on the question of how best to reduce its practice while protecting individual freedoms.  We are a long way from that, based on the number of people who advocate that abortion is a good and responsible thing.

      •  Guess we'll have to disagree (none)
        on the murder thing.  If you're talking about soldiers' feelings, then that's a different arena.  But when you're saying something should be illegal because it's murder, you're talking about the legal definition of murder, or you're being dishonest.

        On the "most pro-lifers would not want to criminalize it," I call bullshit.  In fact, most on the pro-choice side would much rather be focusing on how best to reduce abortion while protecting individual freedoms, but the pro-life side is more concerned with everyone agreeing that it's wrong, and only supporting measures that purport to get rid of it completely, not reduce it (and if that's not what the rank-and-file pro-lifers want, they should damn well stop supporting leaders who do.)  Look at the steady stream of anti-abortion laws that are struck down solely because they fail Roe v. Wade's "life and health of the mother" exemption -- are those an honest effort to reduce abortion?

        You claim that the opposites the two sides supposedly believe are "wrong" and "good."  But those aren't opposites.  I can believe something is not wrong, and also not good.  I believe that it's good that abortion is legal, because it's less bad than the alternatives in so many cases.  I believe that it's good for abortion to be relatively unrestricted, because it's less bad for some people to have abortions for what pro-lifers would consider insufficient justification than for a great many more people already in terrible circumstances to have to go through onerous government procedures and expose their personal life to official scrutiny.

        So show me pro-life Democrats whose primary focus is on reducing abortion and not on imposing legal restrictions (such as Tim Kaine, who's running for governor here in Virginia), and I have no problem working with them.  They're not hard to spot -- they're the ones Republicans call "not really pro-life."

        •  "Not really pro-life" (none)
          is what Republicans call virtually all pro-life Democrats.  

          Harry Reid is a pro-life Democrat and is representative of the typical position of not just pro-life Democrats, but most people who identify themselves as pro-life.  Only the extremeists want to lock anyone up, but pro-lifers do want a societal committment to reduce abortions, both by reducing occurences of unwanted pregnancy, AND by WANTING the children that result from them in demostrable ways.

          •  but the problem here (none)
            is that the extremists are driving the politics, right? And that is what is worrisome to a lot of people around here about working with Democrats who identify as pro-life: that it will end up helping the extremists, and the next thing you know we will all end up in the equivalent of A Handmaid's Tale.

            It sure is a valid concern, ain't it?

            Come get lost in our world: www.politicsandletters.com

            by MonkeyDog102 on Tue Sep 20, 2005 at 04:11:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Single issue politics give extremists power (none)
              This does not mean that all single issue people are extremists, but that most extremists are single issue people.  

              Most pro-lifers, and virtually all pro-life Democrats, are not single issue people.  This means that they are not leading the battle on pro-life issues, but that they can be counted on to collaborate with the single-issue pro-life leaders on some of them.  The single issue people need them, so they have a bargaining position.  

              This is no different than the pro-choice side of the debate.  Most pro-choice people, and virtually all pro-choice Republicans, are also not single issue people.   But pro-choice folks can count on them in some key battles.

              The single issue people on both sides gain power by being able to threaten their friendly party by endorsing friendly supporters of their issue in the hostile party.  This keeps their issue at the top of the agenda of the friendly party, even as it works against the friendly party's immediate interests in winning elections.  It's smart politics whether NARAL does it or National Right to Life.  But it makes life for us multi-issues partisans much more difficult.  It's supposed to, and it's just as valid a part of democracy as being a partisan Democrat is.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site